SUDBURY -- EACOM Timber in Timmins has voluntarily shut down after four employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Company spokesperson Biliana Necheva confirmed the company decided to temporarily close to ensure the safety of its 132 employees at the site.

"We've had four confirmed cases to date and decided to shut down, preventatively, on a proactive basis," Necheva said.

She said the Porcupine Health Unit and the Ministry of Labour have been on site and determined the company was following all COVID health and safety protocols.

It was EACOM's decision to close Monday, she added.

"It's just as a health preventative measure we've decided to shut down until we can determine exactly what the situation is," Necheva said.

The company conducted private screening clinics, she said, after the first case was confirmed. That screening uncovered three more cases.

"Since the first case was confirmed, we've had an industrial cleaning company come in and disinfect the site," Necheva said.

The Timmins area is currently the COVID hotspot for northeastern Ontario, with the highest number of active infections in the region. The health unit reported 29 new cases Wednesday, making 123 in the last week alone.

There's currently no schedule for how long the shutdown will last and the company is currently doing a second COVID screening of workers.

"There's no firm timeline," she said. "We just want to make sure that we're able to offer a safe environment for our employees ... That's the priority, really, to make sure that we have a safe space for employees."

Necheva said the company's vaccine incentive program is still in effect. The confidential program includes an incentive of $200 for workers for the first dose, $150 for the second, or $350 for a single-shot vaccine.

"So that's still ongoing and we strongly encourage all employees who are eligible to be vaccinated," she said. "That's what's going to help us get through the situation and get back to normal as quickly as possible."